Catetory: Sam/Dean (Slash), Chapter 3/3
Summary: Slightly AU. Sam’s dreams and an investigation coincide in Michigan, where new revelations await both brothers.
Author’s Notes: This could be considered to take place in the near future, as Sam’s powers are developing beyond what we’ve seen thus far.
x-x-x-x-x Chapter 3: But Now Am Found x-x-x-x-x
He is wrapped around Dean when the watch alarm goes off, and it takes him a moment to register what it means.
“Dean.” His voice is low and sleep-ridden.
His brother stirs and squints lazily in the darkness, then presses the heel of his hand against his left eye. His voice is rough. “Aren’t you the one that usually says, Do we have to?”
“Want me to say it now?” Sam mumbles into Dean’s shoulder.
“Won’t help. You know we do. It’s why we came.”
Thanks, Dad, Sam thinks, as he rolls to the side and lets Dean sit up.
Dean’s not looking at him, and Sam can’t tell whether he’s sorry or afraid.
“It’ll be all right,” he says softly. “We’ll work through it,” and it’s an answer no matter what the question was.
Dean pats Sam’s leg, and hauls himself out the side and into the bathroom. The edges of his hair are wet when he comes back, and he drags on clothes and secures weapons in alternate stages. They’ll cover their bases, since they don’t know what they’re dealing with, and Dean’s got the full array going—guns, knives, fire, rock salt, silver bullets, holy water, iron and wood. They’re heavy and bulky, weighing down his belt and his jacket, but they are a soldier’s burden and they both got used to it long ago.
Sam’s dressed, armed, and they slide out the door.
It’ll be recon, unless they get lucky or unless someone shoots them while they’re sneaking around town looking for clues. They move quietly, circling around houses and looking in shadows, going as quickly as they can and leaving barking dogs in their wake.
Nothing. No smells or sounds out of the ordinary, nobody wandering around except them. Sam tilts his head toward the woods, and Dean follows him into the trees.
Sweeping sideways, back and forth in methodical patterns as they cover the ground, they are guided by the silver slant of the nearly-full moon. No flashlights—to keep from driving away what they’re hunting—and they are both searching and using themselves as bait at the same time.
They are finally near the water’s edge an hour later, where the creek flows out of its source. Something is… different now. There’s a presence here that was missing in the earlier part of their search. Sam can’t tell what it is, or what it wants, but that sense of awareness is tingling all over him. It has come and gone over the last few months, but it is getting more accurate over time. Sam moves closer to the water now as he feels the inescapable pull.
The lake is no longer empty. Something is reaching to him from under its depths.
He is frozen inside, and his legs carry him forward before he even realizes it’s happening. The water cleaves before him, sluicing off the rising form that is drawing him in, speaking meaningless words inside his head. His stomach is clenched, his lungs airless, and the pressure in his brain is so hard that he can barely think. He strains against the distraction, and now he recognizes this.
It’s his dream. This is the battle he’s lost again and again these last few nights.
If he could get his head back long enough to think, he could do something about it. There is no room for his own thoughts to connect anymore with all of this pushing, crowding, and aching filling up his skull.
“Sam!” Dean yells, knocking into him roughly before he walks right into the water. “What the hell are you doing?”
What? Sam hadn’t even known his feet were moving.
"I—" he starts, but then Dean’s gone completely still. His brother’s eyes are locked on the wraithlike figure in the center of the lake, and unbelievably—impossibly-- Dean is skimming slowly through the air toward the water. Sam thinks Dean can’t be floating, but clearly he is.
Dean is about to be taken. This must be how it happens.
“No!” Sam yells out. This is absolutely not going to be the end of it.
Sam pulls out his guns, one loaded with regular bullets and the other with the rock-salt kind, and fires off several shots of each. It doesn’t help—Dean is over the water now, still being pulled in toward destruction. The air is filled with a kind of electrical hum.
Bullets clearly are not the answer, and Sam is too far away to try knives. He racks his memory for words and chants, but he is out of ideas and nearly out of time. Dean is clear out over the middle of the lake, powerless and immobilized. In a heartbeat, he is sucked down below the dark surface of the water as Sam watches in sickening terror.
No-one is taking him from me! A quick rush of anger overrides the edges of his panic, and Sam becomes a force of concentrated fury. The groundswell of his rage focuses on the source of malevolent power surrounding that silent creature-- and suddenly, an explosion lights up the sky. A shockwave blows out to the edges of the lake, and Dean is thrown up out of the water even as Sam is felled by the blast.
What-- “Dean! Dean!” Sam stumbles into the wetness, sinking into the lake bed on his way to his brother. He struggles out further, weighted down by clothes and weapons, until he is near enough to haul Dean up by his jacket and drag him closer to shore.
Dean coughs, watering spewing up before he catches his breath, and then Sam stops moving and is crushing him to his chest. Dean sways under the assault.
"Wh—" he sputters, but Sam kisses him so hard he can’t breathe. It’s warm and liquid, filling the empty corners of his soul, and he’s drowning in all that it means. When they break off, Sam’s worried eyes drink him in. He brushes a hand over Dean’s cheek before kissing him again and again, and then urges Dean out toward the shore.
“What just happened?” Dean rasps out, glancing back over his shoulder.
There are not going to be enough words for Sam to explain it in a way he even understands himself. He feels shaky and slightly sick, and he is nowhere ready to talk about it. “What part of it?” he asks, stalling to clear his head.
“All of it, Sam! Why were you walking into the lake, and how did I get in there too?”
Sam feels the cold setting in, from the water and from what he’s done. His words tumble out in a rush. “It was in my head. It was using up all my thoughts, and then the next thing I knew you were floating across the water and it was taking you, just like in my dream.” It must have taken all those people, he realizes. The lake must be full of their bones.
Dean looks uncertain. “If I was floating, how come you were walking?”
“I don’t know. Maybe it had a bigger hold on me—maybe it can work me. Because I can hear it.”
“That makes no sense to me whatsoever. Not that any of this does.” Dean sighs, and leans down to slap the water out of his pants. “So what did you do to it? Why didn’t it get us?”
Because I killed it, Sam thinks, but he isn’t ready to say it. His jaw is tight and his eyes evade Dean’s. “I’m not sure why we got away. But it’s gone.” I felt it die, his conscious whispers even as his mind seeks a way to avoid thinking about it. It is one thing to practice setting off matches or floating plastic cups when Dean is out of the room, but suddenly calling forth a killing blow is an enormous uncontrolled leap that leaves Sam rattled and unfocused. It is worse than his visions, and far worse than not understanding his dreams or the reasons he has them.
“It’s really gone?” Dean’s voice is low, as if he’s afraid of waking something.
“Yes. Whatever it was, it won’t be back.”
Dean looks into Sam’s face and sees what’s there. “You destroyed it, didn’t you?” he says quietly. There is no hint of judgment in his voice
“Yes,” Sam whispers. Dean gathers him close, holding tight and rocking slowly in gentle comfort. “It’s what we were looking for, wasn’t it?” he murmurs in Sam’s ear. Sam nods against him, unwilling to speak.
“Then it’s just another kind of hunting, Sam,” he says. “It’s like any other weapon you use when you need it.”
Sam’s breath hitches for a moment. He understands the logic and he knows that Dean is right, but that power was new and merciless and it is more than he knows how to cope with.
“Let’s get back,” Dean says softly, and he puts an arm around Sam’s waist and helps pull him along as he goes. They are at the hotel before long, and Sam’s adrenaline fades rapidly as soon as it’s in sight. He’s tired—hell, he’s drained-- and there’s a new part of himself that he doesn’t understand and that wasn’t there yesterday.
Dean unlocks the door, but stops without going in. Sam sways in the doorway next to him, just waiting.
“Sam,” Dean says, reaching a hand out to steady his brother. Dean’s earnest eyes contrast oddly with his wet clothes and lake-slick hair. “You can’t be the first person this has ever happened to. Someone has to know how to control it. We’ll find them.”
“And what if we don’t?” Sam asks, all his weariness coming through in just a few words.
“Then we’ll figure something out,” Dean answers. “Like we always do.”
He brushes the hair out of Sam’s eyes, and steers him toward the bed that is waiting to embrace him. Sam collapses on it, too exhausted to move, and after a moment Dean undoes Sam’s shoes and starts pulling off his wet clothes. This isn’t new, Sam realizes dimly. This isn’t because of what has changed between them. This is how Dean is. Dean has always taken care of him when he most needs it, and half the time Sam doesn’t even notice it.
He grabs Dean’s wrist as it pulls the bedspread down. “Thanks,” he says softly, and Dean shrugs it off and keeps going. “Dean,” he says more loudly, and finally his brother looks at him. “Don’t make it so easy for me to take you for granted. You deserve better than that.”
Dean’s eyes are so large and still then that Sam knows those words have finally reached him. He reaches a hand out, and when Dean takes it he draws him down to sit on the bed. He guides Dean down against him and holds him until the clammy fabric against his skin makes him shiver.
“You need to rest,” Dean says, and he maneuvers Sam under the covers and settles him in. “Will you be warm enough to sleep?” Dean asks.
“Yes,” Sam answers, already too tired to care.
“I’ll be back after a hot shower, but don’t wait up for me,” Dean says, and his kiss lets Sam know that it’s the truth and not just an excuse. Dean lays Sam’s pants over the back of the chair and takes off his own shirt and jacket to drape them on the lampshade and doorknob. There is a faint squishing sound as he walks into the bathroom, and Sam smiles faintly as the door drifts shut and the room grows dark.
The shower goes on, and the quiet roar fills Sam’s head with a lulling distraction. He turns on his side, worn out and ready for sleep.
By the time Dean returns Sam is barely awake, but the shifting mattress and moving covers rouse him briefly.
Sam turns and wriggles toward that solid warmth, and Dean settles him in closely, reassuringly. A soft kiss brushes Sam’s forehead, and a strong hand strokes through his hair slowly, soothingly.
“Dean,” Sam murmurs happily, and his brother’s sigh admits the release of guarded tension.
Content—complete—Sam sinks into the comfort of Dean’s arms.
Anchored at last, and safe for now, he sleeps in weightlessness in a world without dreams.
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